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Mortgage applications rose 5.8% last week

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Mortgage applications bounced back last week with higher demand for refinancings leading the way. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its market composite index rose 5.8% for the week ended Nov. 5 on the back of a 6% rise in refinancing applications. The numbers represent pretty big swings from the prior week when the overall index fell 5% and refinancings were down 6.4%. Interest rates continue to reach new depths and homeowners are capitalizing through refinancing. Purchase applications climbed 5.5% last week and have risen for three-straight weeks, according to the MBA. The unadjusted purchase index increased 3.1% last week, and was 33.9% higher than the year earlier. In four-week moving averages, the seasonally adjusted market index is down 1.9%, the purchase index is up 1% and the refinance index is down 2.6%. Refinancings accounted for 81.7% of all mortgage applications last week, up slightly from 81.3% the week earlier. The MBA said the conventional purchase index rose 5.4% last week to the highest level since May on a seasonally adjusted basis and is now at the highest level sine early October on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. "The increases in purchase applications we have seen over the past couple of weeks align with the better than expected news from October's employment report and other data indicating some improvement in the economy's growth prospects," according to Michael Fratantoni, MBA's vice president of research and economics. "Refinance applications increased as rates continued to hover near record lows." The MBA said the average interest rate for both 30-year, fixed and 15-year, fixed mortgages remained unchanged last week at 4.28% and 3.64%. On Tuesday, Zillow said the 30-year, fixed-mortgage rate fell to a new low of 4.07% after staying flat for a few weeks, according to the firm's weekly mortgage marketplace update. Write to Jason Philyaw.

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